On July 19, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) and the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) announced a joint project on leasing to their respective agendas. Because the project is international, the working group will reflect the diversity and breadth of interest in this area, ensure there is a satisfactory balance of perspectives, and serve both Boards.
The working group will be comprised of individuals from a variety of backgrounds and is expected to include:
- Preparers of financial statements that are lessors of various asset types, such as equipment, other property and the real estate (including real estate investment companies)
- Prepares of financial statements that lease various asset types such as equipment, other property and real estate
- Knowledgeable investors, investment analysts, and other users of financial statements
- Auditors of financial statements
The purpose of the working group is not to develop proposals. Consequently, the group will not vote on proposals brought to it by the staff. Rather, the role of the working group is to provide views and practical advice on the concepts, ideas, and proposals developed by the Boards and their staff. That is, the role of working group members is to provide information and practical insights from their perspectives. The staff will seek information from working group members as it deems necessary throughout the life of the project, for example, as the staff initially identifies issues to be addressed, researches issues, and develops its analysis of possible alternative approaches. Working group members serve not only as a source of information for the staff but also as a sounding board for the staff and the Boards. Input from the working group will be sought in a variety of ways (for example, through e-mails, video conferences, and face-to-face meetings). At the Boards’ invitation, regulators will participate in the working group.
In order for the group to be productive, it will be necessary to limit its size. Consequently, the Boards expect more nominations than there are places available, and unfortunately cannot guarantee that every nominee will be invited to join the working group. Nominees should note that working group members are unpaid volunteers and the Boards generally do not reimburse travel and other expenses.
Because the lease project is intended to be a comprehensive reconsideration of the current lease accounting guidance, the Boards are interested in the expertise of working group members. Members of the working group should be willing to set aside their existing views or practices in favor of working toward improved financial reporting. The Boards can learn from national or industry practice but will not be constrained by it. The Boards are interested in developing a workable standard that is conceptually grounded, principles-based, and convergent. The Boards are seeking a broad cross-section of nominees, preferably with global as well as regional expertise. Fluency in English is necessary as all correspondence, documents, and discussions will be in English.
The Boards invite nominations of candidates to participate in this working group. Please send nominations and address any questions to either Rachel Knubley, IASB Project Manager, or Danielle Zeyher, FASB Project Manager. The closing date for nominations to the working group is September 30, 2006. A meeting of the working group is provisionally scheduled for January 2007 in London. Please indicate your availability for the following dates in January with your nomination: January 4, 5, 9, 11, 12, 16, 29, and 30.
Nominations should include a short biography and a statement of the nominee’s current capacity in professional organizations in which the nominee has relevant responsibilities.